- Overview of the Fabrication Process
- Stone Countertop Fabrication: Step-by-Step Process
- Step 1. Slab Inspection
- Step 2. Template Layout
- Step 3. Cutting the Stone
- Step 4. Computer-Aided Fabrication Using CNC Machines
- Step 5. Seams
- Step 6. Polishing
- Step 7. Strengthening the Stone
- Step 8. Rigorous Quality Checking
- Step 9. Sealing
- Step 10. Transportation & Installation
- A1 Stone World is a Professional Stone Countertop Fabricator Serving Jacksonville & Surrounding Areas
The polished granite, marble, or quartz countertops you see in kitchens or bathrooms undergo an extensive stone fabrication process to achieve their elegant look. To make sure that you get top-notch craftsmanship, A1 Stone World follows a rigorous stone countertop fabrication process using cutting-edge technology and proven techniques perfected through our years of experience.
Here, we discuss how we seamlessly fabricate your stone countertops based on your specific requirements after the templating process is done. This article will serve as a guide to know what you should be expecting.
Overview of the Fabrication Process #
Definition: Fabrication is when the raw materials needed for your countertop are processed to create the final look based on the template. Our certified fabricators use state-of-the-art technology to inspect, layout, cut, edge, polish, and finish the stone slab in our modern fabrication facility.
With our decades of experience combined with first-class artistry, we can build beautiful countertops that you will surely love.
Here is an overview of the fabrication process:
- The fabricator will rigorously inspect the stone slab for unique features to determine where the cuts should be done.
- The templates are laid out on the stone and the placement of the slab pieces on the template is decided.
- We cut the stone using a bridge saw or water jet.
- Sink, cooktop, faucet, and other specialty cutouts are made.
- We strengthen thin parts of the stone.
- The stone is seamed, polished, and sealed.
- The final product undergoes a meticulous quality-checking process to guarantee an outstanding end product.
Stone countertop fabrication is to be done by an experienced professional. Not all stone suppliers can fabricate countertops in-house, but we have our own fabrication facility and offer a one-stop shopping solution for your countertop needs. So, with our experience, we can assure you that we can give you intricately built countertops.
Stone Countertop Fabrication: Step-by-Step Process #
Here’s a comprehensive step-by-step process on how we fabricate your chosen stone countertops to show you how rigorous we are in building beautiful countertops for our clients.
Step 1. Slab Inspection #
Making sure that we are using high-quality raw materials is the first step in the fabrication process. We do this In the slab inspection process by reviewing the following:
We will be inspecting the entire stone slab for any defects such as:
- Dry seams
- Polyester resin fill
Natural Features #
We will also check for the stone’s natural characteristics that might not appeal to the client like:
- Black spots
- Directional veins
- Knots (mica or feldspar conglomerates)
Since you will be the one using the countertops for many years to come, we will review the slabs with you. We will closely examine the color, pattern, and surface of the stone from different angles and lighting to ensure that we get first-class stones for your countertop.
However, take note the attributes of natural stones (including their perceived imperfections) are what make them unique and it will depend on your personal preferences whether you will consider them as flaws or not.
After reviewing the slabs, we will mark the defective areas and those that don’t appeal to you so we can avoid them during the template layout and cutting processes.
Step 2. Template Layout #
During the template layout, you will come to our fabrication facility and choose which areas of your chosen stone slab will be used for each part of your countertop.
With stone slabs that have uniform patterns, you don’t need to come to our facility. But with styles and colors with a lot of veining and movement, you need to be there to make the decisions. This is especially important if you want your design to ebb and flow across different slabs.
Here are the steps on how the template layout is done:
- After the measurements are taken in the templating process, we upload them to a computer for finalization.
- We add your desired edge profile and lay out the created templates on your chosen slab while ensuring a seamless flow of the patterns to get the best look. We also aim to use as much of the slab as possible to reduce waste during the process. This is where we:
- Highlight the best parts of the stone (such as your favorite pattern) to showcase its natural beauty
- Hide the parts that are less appealing to you and place them in areas where we will be making cutouts like for your stove, cooktop, or sinks.
- We create a final drawing of the layout while considering all needed cutouts including specialty cutouts like soap dispensers and faucet sprays.
Step 3. Cutting the Stone #
We take the following steps when cutting the stone based on the created template layout:
- We will upload the final template layout to another computer and then load the stone slab onto our cutting machine.
- Our skilled technician will check the stone once again for any defects before we start cutting the stone.
- We use specialized tools (a bridge saw or water jet) that we program to create smooth cuts and flawless intricate patterns. Not only do these tools allow us to achieve seamless cuts but also higher productivity.
- Once we are done cutting smaller pieces from the full stone slab, we forward them to our CNC machine for further fabrication.
Our computer-aided cutting machines allow us to cut seams with absolute precision which makes them less noticeable to ensure a continuous flow in the stone’s pattern once installed.
Step 4. Computer-Aided Fabrication Using CNC Machines #
We fabricate the cut stone pieces further (making cutouts) using advanced Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines to create regal countertops. We program the CNC machine to:
- Make custom edges
- Create exemplary cutouts for sinks, stove areas, cooktops, faucet holes, and others
There are times when fabricators need to create cutouts in the installation process itself such as those when your countertop has large holes for drop-in sinks. This is because too large holes might compromise the safety of the stone during the transportation process. Take note, though, that making cutouts can produce a lot of dust. So, you will need to protect your things prior to the installation. We will discuss the necessary preparations you need to make before the installation day further here.
Why We Use CNC Machining & the Benefits You Get #
- For a cleaner, faster, and more accurate countertop installation by eliminating additional sanding and cutting so you can have your beautiful countertops in the shortest possible time.
- To prevent gaps between your countertop and your walls or sinks.
- To create even, clean, and smooth edges without bumps even if you choose an intricate edge profile.
- To guarantee post-sale satisfaction by reducing errors and thus, less time wasted in fixing unexpected mistakes.
- To ensure accuracy even with complex countertop layouts that manual machining can’t do.
- To create perfect cutouts and nearly invisible seams for a flawless countertop.
At A1 Stone World, we craft superior countertops that will not only enhance your space’s beauty but also add value to your home. With more than 15 years of experience, we have completed a lot of renovation and remodeling projects with thousands of happy customers.
Importance of Working With An Expert CNC Machine Operator #
It is important that you work with an experienced fabricator that uses the latest technologies like A1 Stone World. This is because:
- Natural stones have different characteristics that will require a combination of cutting-edge technology and artistry to produce optimal end products.
- Professionals can achieve highly accurate results by programming your counter’s exact dimensions into highly specialized machines to build countertops that you’ll be satisfied with.
Step 5. Seams #
When creating the seams, we aim to minimize their look while reducing the amount of waste at the same time:
Minimizing the Look of Seams #
Seams are among the biggest concerns when it comes to natural stone countertops. But by using advanced CNC machines as well as hand grinding and polishing the seams, we eliminate microchipping or sawtoothing. These strategies minimize the gaps between the two pieces of stones and make them tighter and less visible once they are joined together. Flawless seams also make cleaning easier due to the smoother surface.
In addition, we have an extensive collection of stones for larger remodeling projects that require more than one slab. This allows us to choose two slabs that will create the perfect match in color, pattern, and veins. Thus, having a large inventory is important to ensure the continuous flow of your countertop design.
Minimizing the Amount of Waste #
Our educated fabricators not only match the seams flawlessly but also ensure that we reduce your expenses by maximizing the use of your stone and minimizing costly waste. In fact, we can use the waste including leftover stones (called remnants) for your smaller stone projects like bathroom vanities or kitchen islands.
It is important that you always ask how your fabricator process seams as this is a crucial process to ensure not only a functional but also an awe-inspiring countertop. You can read more about how to hire a reputable countertop fabricator and installer.
Step 6. Polishing #
Stone slabs usually arrive from quarries to us with their faces already polished. However, we do perform another polishing process to make sure that you get perfectly designed countertops.
This is where we also polish the edges which is typically done in a 7-step process using diamond polishing pads starting from grit 50, then 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500, and ending at grit 3,000.
Step 7. Strengthening the Stone #
This is an important step in stone countertop fabrication where we reinforce thin rails of the stone (such as those in front or behind cooktops or sinks) through a specialized technique. This will prevent your countertop from cracking in case of unforeseen circumstances.
Step 8. Rigorous Quality Checking #
The last step is a final inspection of your fabricated countertop where we prioritize quality control to guarantee a stunning finished product. We will review the fabricated stone by:
- Ensuring that all edges of the stone are uniform and smooth
- Checking for any defects, chips, or sharp edges in the profile
- Reviewing the overall flow of the stone from different angles to make sure that the color of the edges and the stone’s surface match perfectly
After ensuring that everything is perfect, we perform a deep cleaning process. And in case we find anything off, our highly talented fabricators will work on the needed improvements to make sure your countertop meets the highest standards.
Step 9. Sealing #
After a thorough cleaning process to remove any cutting residue, our team seals the edges and surface of natural countertops (granite, marble, quartzite, dolomite) with a sealer that can last for around 10-15 years. This aims to maximize your countertop’s durability and stain resistance. We don’t seal quartz and soapstone countertops since they are non-porous.
NOTE: The sealing process may also be done after your countertop is installed.
Step 10. Transportation & Installation #
After the final quality-checking process, we prepare your countertops for transportation and installation. Our in-house installers will load your fabricated countertop onto special trucks to safely transport them to your home on the agreed installation day. Installation usually takes 2-5 hours or more depending on your project’s size and complexity. Our impeccable fabrication process ensures the flawless installation of your countertops.
You can read more about our installation process.
A1 Stone World is a Professional Stone Countertop Fabricator Serving Jacksonville & Surrounding Areas #
If you need more information about our stone fabrication services, feel free to contact us or book a free consultation with our experts. We have certified fabricators who follow a stringent process to ensure that you get the countertop of your dreams. Some of the areas we serve are Jacksonville, Green Cove Springs, Jacksonville Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach, Saint Johns, and St. Augustine. Hire us now!